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Parcells, Jones have five-hour meeting

Posted: Saturday December 21, 2002 3:37 PM
Updated: Sunday December 22, 2002 1:17 AM
  Bill Parcells Bill Parcells says talk of him taking the Dallas job is "premature" at this point. Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met with Bill Parcells for five hours earlier this week, but no job was offered -- or even specifically discussed, both said.

"He inquired as to whether I thought I might go back to coaching or not, or would I consider going back to coaching. But he didn't specifically ask me would I coach again or, 'Would you coach the Cowboys?'" Parcells said Saturday on ESPN, where he is an NFL analyst. "And I didn't get the idea that he was sure about what he was going to do."

But The Dallas Morning News, citing sources close to Jones and Parcells, reported in Sunday editions that Jones had already decided to fire coach Dave Campo.

Parcells, who won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, said if he would return for "the absolute right situation," adding "there aren't many of those out there." He said he didn't know whether the Cowboys job is one of them because "we didn't really get to the depth of what I would have to get to answer that accurately."

Jones traveled to New Jersey and met with Parcells on Wednesday. Jones described the meeting as "a good football visit," adding that there was "no job offer, not at all." He said they didn't plan another meeting.

Asked if he wanted Parcells as his head coach, Jones said, "I don't want to get into that."

"I really enjoyed talking about players with Bill, talking about the game, the NFL, our team," Jones said before the Cowboys played the Eagles on Saturday night. "That's the extent of it."

SI's Don Banks
Here we go again with Parcells, but this time the Big Tuna may take the plunge and return to the sideline. 

The Cowboys have had three head coaches the last six seasons, with Dave Campo in charge the last three. He was only 15-31 going into the Eagles game, including 5-9 this season. Another loss would give the Cowboys three straight 10-loss seasons for the first time in franchise history.

Jones has said he'll re-evaluate Campo's status after the season, but the owner was extremely upset following a blown 10-point lead in the fourth quarter two weeks ago. Dallas followed that by getting crushed by the Giants last weekend.

"My position has been the same for several weeks: I'm going to evaluate this season and take a look at it at the end of the season," Jones said.

Jones said Campo knew about the visit with Parcells, just like he knew about meetings in previous years with Bill Walsh and John Madden.

"That's my job, that's what I do -- visit with whoever I can to get information and use that to better run the Cowboys," Jones said.

Parcells said the two have met before about things like they discussed Wednesday: "Football, the Cowboys, NFL and the way the league was structured now, things of that nature."

Parcells hasn't coached since 1999, when he led the New York Jets to an 8-8 record. He had total control of the organization during his tenure there. He was nearly lured out of retirement last offseason by Tampa Bay, but negotiations fell apart.

His name comes up when high-profile coaching jobs become available because of his track record for turning teams around.

After he won Super Bowls with the Giants following the 1986 and 1990 seasons, he took New England to the Super Bowl after the 1996 season. He led the New York Jets to the AFC title game two years later.

Parcells said Jones called him Tuesday night and they met Wednesday.

"There was no job offer here," Parcells said. "To say there was would be very premature. And I have no idea if there will be."

Working for Jones might not fit Parcells' mold. The owner is also the general manager and savors his total control of the organization, often even hiring assistant coaches.

"I know one thing about the guy -- he wants to win and I wouldn't consider going to an organization that doesn't have that kind of attitude," Parcells said.

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